In the wake of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) many subjects who decided to remain loyal to Britain were left with very few choices. Forced by “Patriots” to surrender duality and swear off their allegiance to the crown, approximately 65-70 000 British subjects, later given the honorary status of the “United Empire Loyalists”, fled to various British colonies such as Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec), Florida, and even the Atlantic Canada. Following the Treaty of Paris which ended the war in 1783, the remaining Loyalists were evacuated from America and were provided with land grants and basic supplies, usually ranging from 100-200 acres. Roughly 2000 loyalists settled in Prince Edward Island and specifically, many resided in the Bedeque Area, leaving a strong presence in the community. The large copper pot (left) was used by the Anderson family for a variety of tasks from preparing pot ash for further production in Europe, to making lye soap, and even producing maple syrup as can be seen in the painting depicting the process. Many families who live in Bedeque can still claim ancestry to the many loyalists which populated the area. Given that Loyalist artefacts are often difficult to discover, any information, photos, or records are often welcomed at the museum, not only to expand the exhibit but to preserve and often forgotten part of Canadian history. Any information regarding the Loyalists can be sent to the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we're happy to answer any questions.
Below: One of two paintings currently on display in the museum's loyalist exhibit, completed by local artist Grace Curtis.
Well, it has finally arrived! the museum officially opened for business on June 3rd after a long winter of completing renovations on the second floor and attic space. The new display areas on the second floor each feature a detailed view into the history of Bedeque and the people who resided in the area during the early 20th century. Using artefacts which mainly came from the Howard Clark collection, the displays are also a testament to the great task undertaken by Howard to preserve the many thousands of artefacts which now fill the museum. The 2nd floor now features a wide array of scenes including everything from a chapel, to the "back-porch" which is depicted in the picture below. While items are still being catalogued and properly organized, the new displays are a must see and a perfect way to spend an afternoon!
January - The picture shows part of the second floor refurbishment. The sanded and stained floor looks great, and the carpentry work is well underway. The first of the new exhibits is starting to take shape.
We will be adding posts to the website much more often this year. A new feature will be weekly story pieces on interesting artifacts and elements from the collections. These will be trailed on our Facebook page, so go there to be advised of what's new!
As the Museum's official opening on August the third approaches, it is time to reflect on everything that has happened the past most here at Bedeque Area Historical Museum. Our opening day on first of July was quite successful with over 100 visitors including one very special visitor, Howard Clark. As we walked with Howard throughout the museum, it was incredible to think that this man had collected all these items in such a short period of time. We are certainly very grateful for that. Ultimately, we believe that Howard enjoyed the way that his items were presented and will continue to be presented for some time. The picture to the left shows Howard on the opening day.
While our Grand opening, which took place on the First of July, was the HUGE success, the museum's official opening is actually happening this Saturday, August the third.
While it has not been long since the initial opening, the museum has changed in various aspects. Since the last post on the Museum website, each display offered here at the museum has been modified. Not only is there a wide array of new artifacts presented on the museum shelves, but there is also more information, knowledge, and stories presented with each tour. There are also a wide array of important persons invited to the museum this coming Saturday including the Honorable Catherine Callbeck, Prince Edward Island's 28th Premier. If this isn't enough to entice you to come, it is free for all age to come out and enjoy everything the museum has to offer!
While the third of August is a perfect opportunity to visit the museum, the displays as well as the tours are constantly changing, so it is surely a great idea to return!
As July the first quickly approaches the staff here at the museum are digging deep to make opening day the best it can be. There are artifacts to be cleaned and cataloged, signs to be made, and displays to be perfected, not to mention floors to be scrubbed. We'd like to take a moment in this post to recognize and introduce our wonderful employees.
Our current staff consists of Noel Waite, Laura Neily, and June Dawson.
Noel is the most recent addition to the team. He will be the museum's interpreter and guide for the summer. He will be here at the museum five days a week (Tuesday through Saturday from 10am til 6pm, July 1st until August 30th). Noel is very knowledgeable and passionate about history, and will be very happy to show you around and even demonstrate some of the artifacts he helped restore to working order for you.
Behind the scenes is Laura Neily, our resident assistant curator. Laura has been with us since February and has put a lot of much appreciated energy into making our museum what it is through cataloging and exhibit design.
June Dawson is our supervisor trainee. June has been with the museum since December; she and Sharon Leighton (the volunteer head supervisor) laid the groundwork of cataloging our artifacts and designating exhibit areas. Under Sharon's watchful eye and helpful advice, June drives the team diligently in a multitude of ways to bring the entire project to fruition; be it digging up old advertisements to pair with artifacts or sewing a straw mattress to use in the child's bed, you can count on her to find a creative and swift solution to any museum conundrum!
Good exhibits don't just happen!
There is a lot of behind the scenes work taking place right now as our staff prepares for opening day (July 1st). The fact that it is only five working days away never leaves our minds for long!
We are continuing to catalogue items, but a lot of our focus this week has shifted to finishing touches and having everything ready to go.
Our official brochure is in circulation as we speak, and we would love to hear where you see one for the first time.
This picture was taken just this morning, Laura is working hard to make the military display the best it can possibly be.
The grand opening of the museum's first exhibits is fast approaching, and excitement is mounting! A mere seventeen days remain for the board and staff to pull the final touches together and get it shaped up properly for the public's enjoyment. The cataloguing and researching of the many artifacts is mostly completed as of now, and the main focus is currently on the design and curation of the exhibits.
We thank you once again for your interest and support, and encourage you to (CLICK HERE) to check out our Museum's Facebook page as well!
We are trying to located old pictures of Freetown, Kinkora, Albany, Borden, and any other area in
Lots 25, 26, and 27.
If you have some and your willing to let us have a copy please let us know! They will be stored in our archives, and possibly used in future exhibits!
We are on the Internet! Now you can follow our progress and see new developments and events as they happen.
We are busy selecting items that will make up the first exhibit of the Bedeque Area Historical Museum which is due to open July 1, 2013. The items are photographed, numbered, researched and entered into our database.
Soon, we will begin the actual layout and design of the exhibit.